No one wants to admit that the beginning of motherhood is not all love and cuddles. And even though I was warned by countless mothers to “be on the lookout” for depression, I didn’t even know what to be on the look out for.

After Addison was born I cried every night at 6:30 for three weeks. It was like clockwork, and it didn’t matter where we were – my in-laws house, the dinner table, walking around Target – it was unrelenting.

One day I opened up to Boss Lady Emily about my constant bouts with crying. God bless you, friend. She said something similar happened to her, and it was because it was getting dark. “It’s because you know it is about to be bed time. She wont be able to sleep; you wont be able to sleep, and you are dreading it.” She was right, I felt like a sleepless failure.

What saved me? Work. I know that it sounds ridiculous, but it is true. Everyone thought I was bonkers for agreeing to work 8-12 on Fridays while on maternity leave, but in the end, it made all the difference. For those four hours once a week, I remembered I was good at something. It didn’t matter that Addison wasn’t eating well or Wrigley hadn’t had a decent walk in days or that there was an inch of crumbs on my kitchen floor. I might have been failing as a mom, wife, and homemaker, but I was able to book media interviews and help out my great team at work.

The truth is I wasn’t failing. Learning to be a mommy is tough. And looking back, I wouldn’t do anything differently. I love my daughter and our new life, and everything happens for a reason. This was an early lesson for me that doing it all was no longer an option – a hard realization for a nonstop do-er.

– Stephanie

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